Senate Study Bill 1010 would close a loophole that lawmakers believe is unintentional in Iowa code. The bill provides that a person convicted of sexual abuse committed during a burglary shall also be sentenced to a special sentence committing the person into the custody of the of the director of Iowa Department of Corrections for the rest of the person’s life, with eligibility for parole as provided in Code chapter 906.
Jessica Reynolds, the executive director of the Iowa County Attorneys Association, said it is one of the organization’s priority bills and comes from a prosecutor who prosecutes such cases.
Essentially, she said, there is an issue where if someone rapes someone outside the home, they are put on lifetime supervision. But, if the perpetrator enters the house and commits rape, there is a loophole where there is no lifetime supervision.
“We believe that was never the intent of the legislature,” Reynolds said. “It just kind of got lost because this is in the burglary section of the code.”
Susan Krisko, assistant attorney general, echoed the need for the bill.
“I actually tried a case in which someone broke into someone’s house and sexually abused them,” she said. “That’s how I found out about this problem. He is currently in prison, but once he gets out there is an argument that he doesn’t have lifetime supervision because it was never enumerated.
“If somebody rapes a woman or man on the front porch steps, it’s a sex abuse charge with penalties including lifetime supervision. However, if the same person waited until the victim is inside the home, broke in and then committed sex abuse, they’re charged with burglary in the first degree.”
Once they are released, there is no lifetime supervision, she said.
All three members of the subcommittee agreed to sign the bill through to the full committee.